leadership opportunities for high school students

I must admit youth leadership training may sound too abstract or distant for teenagers like me.

For more often, I read about this from journals of top business schools presented as case studies or as a corporate social responsibility project of some corporations.  That can be cold, far and unreal to me who did not experience them.

The meaning of this phrase changed when I spent one productive week of great summer fun with Klub Tala, an outreach organization of Daniw Study Center.

The Daniw Summer Camp

Last April, Batch 2015 KALFI LEADers from Daniw – Jannylie Cayabyab, Adrielle Theresa Cusi, and Cherie Lynne Gomintong – organized the 2016 Klub Tala (KT) Summer Camp.

The purpose of this year’s camp was to impart virtues and values to 9-12 year-old girls from the Park 7 community through relatable talks, applicable videos, and interactive activities. The camp started on April 9, 2016, and was spread over the three succeeding Saturdays of April.

The theme on April 9 was Home Appreciation. The goal of this session was to show the participants that they could always do something to help their family around the home, and one way to help was to prepare a simple meal for them.


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On that day, Dorothy Rose Palafox, another Daniw KALFI LEADer, gave a talk entitled “Home-Made Love.”

Her talk focused on the little things the participants, as kids, could do to help their parents around their homes. She supplemented her talk with a short film entitled “Fine Dining.” 

The film’s plot revolves around a father preparing a simple meal of adobo and instant noodles for his daughter’s birthday, and setting their table at home with decorations typically found in a fine-dining restaurant.

After the talk and the film, the participants prepared peanut butter and banana sandwiches according to Dorothy’s instructions. Each kid made two sandwiches – one for them, and the other was for their loved ones.

On the second day, April 16, the theme was Personal Development through Dreaming. Jedah Mae Averilla, a young entrepreneur, gave the participants a step-by-step process on how to achieve their dreams through her presentation, “Paano Abutin ang Pangarap na Bituin” (“How to Reach Dreams like Stars”). 



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To inspire the participants to achieve their own dreams, Jedah also shared her own stories about achieving her own ambitions. After the talk, the kids made dream boards where they creatively listed and drew their dreams, as well as how they could achieve them.

On April 23, the third day of the summer camp, the theme was Love in Little Things. It aimed to have the participants realize that they should never take little things for granted.

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Dylene Contigno gave a talk entitled, “Pagmamahal sa Maliliit na Bagay” (“Love for the Little Things”), where she showed that a little bit of love makes the difference between a house and a home. 

After Dylene’s presentation, Cherie Gomintong demonstrated a simple science experiment where an egg, initially submerged in water, began to float after more salt was added to the water.

Cherie connected this experiment to Dylene’s talk, stating that the egg symbolizes a person, while the salt is love; when a person is feeling sad, a little bit of love can make that person happy.



After the experiment, the kids created pop-up cards with messages of their choice – either “I love Mommy,” “I love Daddy,” or “I love you.” During the activity, the kids were asked to write reasons why they loved their parents on a whiteboard. The kids were then photographed with the whiteboard, and the photos were compiled into a video.

Finally, on April 30, the last day of camp, the theme was Love for Parents. The last session was meant to show the kids how much parents loved their sons and daughters, and how much parents were willing to sacrifice for them.

A video entitled “My Dad is a Liar,” was shown to the kids. “My Dad is a Liar,” is about a father doing everything he can to make his daughter happy despite the difficulties that come his way. The lessons of this video were then discussed with the kids. Finally, the photo compilation of the kids with their whiteboard-messages was shown. This was then discussed and compared with the message of “My Dad is a Liar.”

The participants’ parents were invited to join the last day of the summer camp. In fact, that session was to have been a tribute for them and a chance for the kids to show their parents how much they loved them. Unfortunately, there was an event in the local parish scheduled on the same day and time which needed the parents’ presence. Because of this, the participants were given the assignment to tell their parents, “thank you,” and explain why they were thanking them.

The initial objective of the KT Summer Camp was to inculcate virtues and values in the participants. Upon close inspection, the value emphasized during the camp was Love. The first day, home appreciation, was about love for family, while the second day, personal development, was love for self. The third day, which focused on love in the little things, is simply love for the people around you. The last session focused on love for one’s parents.

Without a doubt, the KT Summer Camp was able to teach the kids about love and how to love the people they loved.